Mastering rivalry with green cooperation?

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Much of previous IR scholarship on Sino-American cooperation on climate change asks about its likely success given their increasingly rivalrous relationship. Instead, with an eye to the future of the international order, this thesis interrogates whether cooperation on climate change between China and the US affects the overall relationship in turn. Within IR, the realist framework argues that instances of cooperation will not lead to a better overall relationship, which is opposed to the liberal institutionalist and constructivist frameworks that are more optimistic about the effects of cooperation. The thesis consists of a longitudinal comparison and a historical case study to analyse whether climate change cooperation affects the overall relationship between China and the US. The longitudinal comparison has a time frame of ten years, 2008-2018, where the most important events on climate change cooperation are assessed against their overall relationship. Additionally, the Paris Agreement is then investigated in detail to illustrate the influence of this important climate deal. While the results indicate that climate cooperation is still possible even under conditions of rivalry, they also indicate that it is unlikely that overall rivalry will be positively affected by climate change cooperation. This has implications for how we understand the improvement of rivalrous relationships.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen